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WORKING FOR BALANCE: CELEBRATING FEMALE TALENT

In case you didn’t know, today is International Women’s Day. This is a global day that celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women across the globe while also marking a call to action, usually one with a specific theme. The theme for this year’s International Women’s Day is ‘Balance for Better’. The aim is to look at different ways that everyone, not just women, can help to build a more gender-balanced world.

However, the campaign for a more balanced world isn’t limited to today alone. The ‘Balance for Better’ campaign is expected to run for the entirety of 2019 (because female achievements happen every day of the year)! For example, later this month, NASA is expected to make history with the first ever spacewalk with an all-female crew, marking a giant leap for womankind.

But, what does a gender balanced world mean?

The examples that the International Women’s Day website give include moving towards a more gender balanced boardroom as well as a gender balance in employees and their pay. They say that working towards balance is not just a ‘women’s’ issue, it’s a business one.

Globally the number of women in senior roles is on the decline. According to research from Catalyst the global figure fell from 25% in 2017 to 24% in 2018. In the UK only a fifth of businesses’ senior roles are held by women and one quarter of UK businesses don’t have a single woman in a senior management role.

WORKING FOR BALANCE

In 2018, social enterprise firm Equileap used publicly available data from 3,000 companies around the globe to compile a list of which companies were getting it right in terms of gender equality. US-based General Motors (GM) nabbed the top spot thanks to their current CEO Mary Barra, who is not only the company’s first female CEO, but the first woman to hold a CEO position at a major global automaker. Keeping in with the theme of ‘Balance for Better’ GM also has an equal number of men and woman on their board of directors. A little closer to home, UK drinks brand Diageo ranked 11th in the global ranking and claimed the top spot for UK companies. Marks and Spencer ranked within the top 100 companies coming in at 74th globally and 8th domestically.

In recent years we’ve seen women’s rights take more of a centre stage in the public sphere with a number of celebrities championing different causes such as the recent #MeToo and #TimesUp campaigns. Outside the world of celebrity we’ve seen campaigns aimed at changing the stereotypes surrounding women and sports such as ‘This Girl Can’. Meanwhile, the incredibly simple but emotive Autocomplete Truth from the UN which saw posters showcasing shocking global gender bias and discrimination. The posters featured the face of a woman with a search bar covering her mouth, the search bar then showed the top autocomplete matches for phrases such as ‘women need to’ and ‘women should’.

This year to help raise awareness for International Women’s Day and their ‘Balance for Better’ campaign they’re asking people to upload a photo to their social media with their hands up striking the #BalanceForBetter pose.

We thought we’d take it a step further and wanted to celebrate the different women who inspire us every day. So we put the question to our office. We asked everyone to tell us which woman has influenced them the most in their life and to tell us what they think makes a strong woman.  Visit our social media pages to find out who inspires us @shoppertainmgmt

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